Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
The Scioto County Junior High and High School Honors Band and High School Honors Choir will present the 71st Annual Scioto County Honors Music Festival on Tuesday, March 5 at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. The annual festival — formerly called “The All County Music Festival” — includes 207 students from all 12 school districts in Scioto County.
Sharee Price, gifted services coordinator at the South Central Ohio Educational Services Center, said the best high school musicians and singers have rehearsed for this event and will be ready to present a great evening of entertainment for their audience.
“They have to audition,” Price said. “They come in and perform for judges who use a rubric to determine who gets in.”
The festival begins at 6:45 p.m. with 62 students performing with the Junior High Honors Band Concert, followed by the High School Honors Band (71 members) and Honors Choir (74 members) performing at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 each and includes admission to both the junior high and high school performances.
“It’s an opportunity for students to work with all the other band or choir directors and they learn from them through the rehearsal process. We have two major rehearsals before the concert. For the final rehearsal on Monday night, we have guest conductors come in and work with the students Monday night and all day, all night, and all morning into the day (of the concert) on Tuesday. They learn a lot from those guest conductors,” Price said.
Steven Barnett, of Marshall University, will be conducting the Honors Band and Dr. Greg Detweiler, Director of Choral Activities at Morehead State University, will be conducting the Honors Choir. Barnett is currently in his 10th year as Director of Bands and Professor of Music at Marshall University. He conducts the Marshall University Wind Symphony and the “Marching Thunder” Marching Band, where he also serves as music arranger and drill designer. Mr. Barnett is the coordinator for music education, teaches arranging, advanced conducting, supervises student teachers, and teaches additional music education courses at Marshall University.
Dr. Greg Detweiler is in his 13th year as Director of Choral Activities at Morehead State University. Detweiler conducts the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir and teaches conducting and voice. His choirs have toured and presented concerts in Austria, Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic, Costa Rica and Canada; and have appeared at regional and state conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educators National Conference. In demand as a clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator, he has presented workshops in choral technique across the U.S. and Canada.
The Junior High Honors Band is under the direction of Guest Conductor Brent Hunt. He is a graduate of Marshall University and has been a music teacher in the Tri-State area for the past 35 years. He has served as OMEA District 17 President and Vice President as well as serving on their Board. In addition to his public school work, he has also taught at Marshall University and has served as a Master Teacher for the West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts.
At the end of the evening, two students (one band and one choir) will each be awarded a $500 scholarship to attend a college or university at which they wish to study music.
“They have to audition to get into the band or choir, but then there’s a separate audition for scholarships which usually takes place before the second rehearsal,” Price said. “You have to be a senior. You have to be going to college to study music. Typically these would be students that have been in the music festival for a number of years.”
The evening of the concert, professionally produced albums of the performance will be available to pre-order at the cost of $10 each with all proceeds benefiting future Honors Music Festivals. This is the second year that albums will be available, but the first year that Junior High Honors Band will be included on the recording.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org.